WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, now playing in theaters.
One of the most interesting things about Ghostbusters: Afterlife is how the sequel expands on the universe built in the '80s movies. It hinges a lot on Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) carrying the legacy of her grandfather, Egon Spengler, so that the evil Gozer doesn't take Earth. However, as Phoebe's quest unfolds and spirits attack her and her crew, a major problem forms with Summerville's cops.
Phoebe didn't know Egon was her grandfather or that ghosts exist upon moving to the dusty Oklahoma town. She and her family go there after getting evicted, which leads to her befriending Podcast and their teacher, Gary and realizing ghosts have been unleashed and Gozer is coming to life.
However, Phoebe can't turn to the cops for help, as they're literally trying to derail her and the team. When Phoebe, her brother Trevor and Podcast activate Ecto-1 on a chase to trap Muncher, they wreck the town with the energy blasts from their proton pack. Eventually, the cops arrest the kids after they nab Muncher, but they don't believe Phoebe when she says they caught the ghost. But this doesn't add up because the cops should know ghosts exist after what happened decades ago in New York. It also wouldn't take much for them to check online to corroborate Phoebe's tools were what the Ghostbusters used, especially because they're all over YouTube.
Phoebe herself, before she was a believer, got educated by Podcast and Gary via these videos. So, even if the cops are out of touch, it's easy to connect the dots. And to make matters worse, the cops have Callie, Egon's daughter, come to pick the teens up and still can't put together that she's a Spengler.
But while ignoring Phoebe's protestations is one thing, it is also bad policing for them not to investigate any of the damage done or that Phoebe called Ray, the Ghostbuster legend, instead of her mom with her one call. Had the cops roamed Summerville thereafter, or if Sheriff Domingo had spoken to his daughter, Lucky (Trevor's love interest), about her friends seeing spooky stuff emerging from the mines, it would be easy to see Phoebe's telling the truth.
Sure, the police force being incompetent is a plot convenience so the kids can steal their weapons and save the day, but it doesn't feel right that they ignore obvious warning signs and credible witnesses in town. It is one thing to be bad at your job and a whole other to put people at risk for no reason whatsoever.
To see how Summerville's cops are bad at the job, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is in theaters now.
KEEP READING: Ghostbusters: Afterlife Crushes Its Opening Day Box Office
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